I get the hype around 'The Hurt Locker.' Totally intense, beautifully shot and well written, it's the first critically and commercially successful film about the war in Iraq.
The movie centers around the final 30 days of service for a 3-man bomb squad in Iraq - they are charged with neutralizing the risk of all reported bombs. A variety of different scenarios - roadside bomb, body bomb, desert ambush - are shown as we learn about these three men and their demons and drivers. As you wait for the bomb to go off, or to see the right wire clipped, each sequence is so tense and harrowing that my neck muscles are now sore.
The ending wasn't great, wrapping things up a little too neatly so that it was bordering on contrived. But I love that this movie was directed by a woman (especially because that woman, Kathryn Bigelow, also directed 'Point Break' - and what's not to love about 'Point Break'?) and that where movies like 'Black Hawk Down' are all A-list stars and flashy special effects, this movie was mostly no names and grittier, down-to-earth cinematography.
I enjoyed the surprise cameos - Guy Pearce, Ralph Fiennes, Evangeline Lilly - among the cast of no names. And those no names were great - the acting was truly one of the high points of the film - once I figured out who the main actor reminded me of:
8 Twix bars!